COA affirms ruling vs anomalous PNP armored car deals under Razon
COA affirms ruling vs anomalous PNP armored car deals under Razon
The Commission on Audit says it will now refer the case to the Office of the Ombudsman

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Audit (COA) ruled with finality on the two notices of disallowances for the P399 million spent by the Philippine National Police (PNP) for its 18 armored vehicles in 2007, seeking the return of the funds.

In a decision released on Friday, August 11, COA denied the petition for review filed by Superintendent Rainier Espina, former acting chief of the PNP Office of the Directorate for Comptrollership-Management Division. Former PNP chief Avelino Razon Jr also filed a similar petition but the commission earlier rejected it.

Espina sought to reverse the 2013 decision of the COA Fraud Audit Office, which upheld two notices of disallowance against anomalous PNP transactions involving 18 V-150 light armored vehicles.

But COA affirmed the two notices issued in 2012, after it was found that the PNP approved inspection and acceptance reports despite numerous discrepancies.

The irregularities include lack of public bidding, awarding of contracts to suppliers with no proven technical and financial capacity, under-delivery or ghost deliveries worth P83.9 million, unsubstantiated release of payments amounting to P66.567 million, and non-submission of defective or replaced parts as proof of repairs.

“Inspection is an essential component of the procurement process to ascertain whether the specifications required, as to quantity and quality, are met. This Commission resolves to deny this petition. In view of the violations of laws and regulations, …this case shall be referred to the Office of the Ombudsman,” COA said in its 6-page decision dated July 12, 2017.

Aside from Espina and Razon, also liable are PNP Logistics Support Service (LSS) acting director Superintendent Teodorico Lapuz IV, Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) chairman Senior Superintendent Emanuel Ojeda, PNP LSS chairman Reuel Labrado, BAC vice chairman Senior Superintendent Victor Puddao, BAC members Chief Inspector Annalee Forro and Superintendent Edgar Pataan, purchasing officer Superintendent Josephine Dumanew, and PNP-LSS Transportation and Maintenance Division chief Victor Agarcio.

Contractors and suppliers, including RJP International Construction and General Services, Enviro-Aire Incorporated, and Evans Spare Parts Motor Works RPR and Trading, are also liable.

In 2012, the Ombudsman filed criminal charges before the Sandiganbayan against Razon and 31 others over the anomalous repair and maintenance of the armored vehicles. They were charged with graft and malversation through falsification of documents.

In March 2016, Razon and his 13 co-defendants in the malversation case were allowed to post bail. –

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